|Leo Tolstoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
From Paul Birukoff's, Leo Tolstoy: Childhood and Early Manhood (1906):
Childhood: days of idyll, Moscow and Kazan University
Count Tolstoy was a gentle, easy going man. Quick to tell a joke, he was reluctant to mete out corporal punishment that was so common at the time to the hundreds of serfs on their estate. He disliked wolf-baiting and fox-hunting, preferring to ride in the fields and forests, or walking with his children and their pack of romping greyhounds. Leo recounts outings with his siblings, friends, and paternal grandmother Pelageya Nikolayevna Tolstoy (d.1838) to pick hazelnuts; she seemed a dreamy magical figure to him. Sometimes he spent the evening in her bedroom while their blind story-teller Lev Stepanovich narrated lengthy, enchanting tales.
"As a child Maryam Mirzakhani was told a story by her elder brother about the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, and how he, as a schoolboy, solved a mathematical problem, adding all the numbers from 1 to 100, in seconds. She couldn’t master the solution but when it was explained, was dazzled by its elegance, sparking the love affair that brought her the Fields medal.
So how did he solve it?
The answer is fiendishly simple once you know how. Gauss discovered that on adding the consequential numbers of the highest and lowest values in the sequence you would get 101. So for example, the first pair takes the lowest value, 1, and the highest value, 100, and, when added, give 101. Similarly, for the second pair, the second lowest and highest numbers, 2 and 99, summed give 101, and so forth. In total there are 50 pairs each amounting to 101, so using simple multiplication (50 x 101) the answer is given in seconds, 5050. Or as Mirzakhani puts it, “a beautiful solution”."
When we truly desire to become more humble, we become painfully aware of how often our actions are motivated by the desire to impress others.
I HAVE studied many times The marble which was chiseled for me-- A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth it pictures not my destination But my life. For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid; Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances. Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life. And now I know that we must lift the sail And catch the winds of destiny Wherever they drive the boat. To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire-- It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
--Edgar Lee Masters George Gray -- Spoon River Anthology:
We can get that for less than minimum wage.
That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning -- that equals 6-1/2 hours).
So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.
However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!
The average teacher's salary (nationwide) is $50,000.
$50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student -- a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)
WHAT A DEAL!!!!
Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.
Kevin Maher is the author of The Fields, which comes out in the U.S in August. I don't know why we did Dubliners when we did. We were 12, some of us g...
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